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Kedoshim 5774
Download thousands of audio shiurim and articles at www.yutorah.org 
The Marcos and Adina Katz
Kedoshim 5774
 When Prohibitions Collide
Rabbi Shmuel Goldin
 wo senences afer he orahs mandae o Linei iveir lo iein michshol (which includes he prohibiion o misleading anoher, even hrough he passive wihholding o vial inormaion; [almud Bavli Moed Kaan 5a] see previous sudy), he ex delineaes an equally powerul, ar-reaching direcive:
 Lo elech rachil b’amecha
 , “Do no ravel as a gossipmonger among your people.”From his commandmen and oher sources in he orah he rabbis ideniy hree levels o prohibied inerpersonal speech as alling under he general prohibiion o rechilu (gossip).1. Mozi shem ra, slander: Te mos severe orm o prohibied inerpersonal speech: he inenional spreading o damaging unruhs abou anoher individual.2. Lashon hara, evil speech: Te spreading o damaging inormaion abou anoher individual, even i he inormaion is rue.3. Rechilu, gossip: Te sharing o any personal inormaion abou anoher individual ouside o ha individual’s presence, i here is he slighes chance ha he inormaion shared will resul in he creaion o ill will.Rabbinic lieraure is replee wih reerences concerning he ragic effecs o unetered speech (see azria-Mezora 3, Approaches D, E). Te prevalence o his phenomenon (we are almos all guily o he ransgressions o prohibied speech) combines wih he errible damage ha can be  wrough upon he lives o ohers o make he ongoing effec o hese sins paricularly devasaing. Wha should our posure be, however, when he prohibiion agains rechilu conflics wih he prohibiion o linei iveir; when inormaion is requesed o us, he sharing o which migh be damaging o one individual  while he wihholding o which migh be damaging o anoher? Wha i, or example, I am requesed o give a job reerence concerning an acquainance and he inormaion o which I am privy will be harmul o he candidae? Wha i I am asked by a riend concerning a budding romanic relaionship and, again, he inormaion ha I would share  would be less han flatering?Te responses o halacha o hese commonly occurring dilemmas are complex and vary on a case–by-case basis, as he law sruggles o reconcile he conflicing demands o hese wo significan mizvo.Four commonsense rules, however, can be helpul as a guide in all cases.1. Explore he moivaions: Wha is he impeus behind our inen o share his inormaion? Are we moivaed in any way by jealousy or personal animus? Are we ully aware o he underlying orces ha drive us o speak?2. Sudy he acs: Are we cerain o he veraciy o inormaion ha we inend o share? Wha is he naure o our sources? oo ofen, damaging hearsay is repeaed as ac, wih devasaing consequences.3. Examine he relevance: Is he inormaion we plan o share relevan o he siuaion a hand? Are we limiing our response o he necessary inormaion or are we adding and embellishing beyond he essenial acs?4. Seek halachic counsel: Many o us end o reques halachic guidance only in areas o riual concern such as kashru and Shabba. Jewish law, however, is mean o serve as a guide in all arenas o lie, paricularly when i comes o our ehical and moral behavior.Seeking appropriae halachic counsel beore we speak abou ohers is a sensible, ofen necessary sep. Words, once spoken, can never be ully reraced.On he oher hand, he ailure o share warraned inormaion can cause irreparable damage o he unsuspecing. Te burden o our inended acion or
Kedoshim 5774
Download thousands of audio shiurim and articles at www.yutorah.org 
inacion should, hereore, weigh heavily upon us. Decisions should no be made in hase, bu only afer due deliberaion. Consulaion wih he proper halachic advisor can help gran perspecive, allowing he wide-ranging experience o Jewish law o inorm hose decisions.Grea cauion mus be exercised when he prohibiions o linei iveir and rechilu collide. Te welare o ohers hangs in he balance.
Normal Holiness
Rabbi Dovid Gotlieb
his week’s orah porion opens wih he seminal charge o live a lie o holiness: “Daber el kol adas Benei Yisroel,” speak o he enire assembly o he Children o Israel, “ve’amara alehem kedoshim i’hiyu,” and say o hem, you mus be holy, “ki kadosh ani Hashem Elokechem,” because I, Hashem your God, is holy (Vayikra 19:2). Te significance o his verse canno be oversaed as i ariculaes nohing less han he mission o he Jewish people, o be a goy kadosh, a holy people!  Accening his imporance, Rashi cies he Midrash (Sira 1:1) which iners rom he ac ha Moshe was insruced o “speak o he enire assembly” ha his command (and he subsequen pesukim) was said o a unified gahering o he enire naion. Te Midrash explains ha his naional audience was required, “mipnei she’rov guei orah eluyan bah,” because he majoriy o he orah’s essenial laws are conained in his secion. Te Chasam Soer (oras Moshe) goes even urher and suggess ha he command “daber el kol adas Benei  Yisroel” conveys no only how his parsha was augh bu, more imporanly, how i should be ulfilled.  When considering a lie o kedushah a person may  be emped o isolae him or hersel rom oher people. Tis ype o isolaion, which he Chasam Soer reers o as “hisbode’dus,” would seem o be he ideal way o achieve holiness. Afer all, i no one else is around hen i is easier o conrol he disracions and empaions which normally compromise he person’s pursui o kedushah. Moreover, someone who lived alone would be reed rom he responsibiliy o worrying abou he needs o ohers and insead could ocus solely on his or her own religious developmen. Despie he apparen benefis o isolaion he Chasam Soer emphaically rejecs his approach. Te ideal is no o run away o he deser or o he ores even i he moivaion o do so is or spiriual refinemen. Raher, he goal o lie is o achieve holiness wih “kol adas Benei  Yisroel,” in he conex o he communiy. Furhermore, he Chasam Soer mainains ha par o our responsibiliy – despie any risks ha his migh presen – is o inerac  wih oher people and “le’lamdam binah u’lehaskil be’oras Hashem,” o each ohers abou he beauy o orah and mizvos. Tese commens o he Chasam Soer complimen he amous eaching o Chazal ha recouns he conversaion ha ook place when Moshe iniially came up Har Sinai o receive he orah. Beore God could give he orah o Moshe he angels sared o complain and asked: “mah le’yalud ishah beineinu,” by wha righ is a human  being invading he celesial heavens? Tey coninued and quesioned he very legiimacy o giving he orah, somehing so holy o someone who is mere flesh and  blood. Te Ribbono Shel Olam urned o Moshe and insruced him o answer he angels. Moshe replied by noing ha he orah describes he exodus rom Egyp and, hereore, he asks he angels rheorically, “were you slaves in Egyp? Were you liberaed?” Furhermore, he orah commands ha we mus sop working and res on Shabbos; once again Moshe asks he angels i hey work during he week so ha hey need a command o res. Moshe gives a number o oher examples bu hey all make same criical poin: Te orah was mean or real people living real lives. Te orah is no or angels or or people rying o become angels; he angels are in he heavens, his world is or human beings. O course he one cach is ha we are expeced o sanciy our lives. “Kedoshim ihiyu” demands no ha we avoid normal human experiences bu ha we hallow hem. And “daber el kol adas Benei Yisroel” eaches us ha kedusha is mean o be achieved no in isolaion bu wihin he communiy and hrough normal human ineracions.
Kedoshim 5774
Download thousands of audio shiurim and articles at www.yutorah.org 
No End
Rabbi Josh Hoffman
his week’s parsha, Kedoshim, begins wih God elling Moshe, “speak o he enire assembly o he Children o Israel and say o hem: ‘You shall be holy, or holy am I, God, your Lord.’ “(Vayikra 19:2). Rashi, ciing he midrash, noes ha rom he ac ha God old Moshe o address his remarks o he enire assembly o he people, we learn ha his parsha was said a a gahering o he enire assembly o Israel, because mos o he essenials o he orah depend upon i. We need o undersand wha he midrash means by saying ha mos o he essenials o he orah are included in his parsha, and why, because o his, i needed o be delivered beore he enire naion.Rabbi Gedalyohu Schorr, in his commenary Ohr Gedalyohu o parshas Kedoshim, cies he midrash as saying ha parshas Kedoshim is a resaemen, o he Decalogue - he Aseres Hadibros - known popularly as he en Commandmens. For example, in he Decalogue  we are old o our obligaion o honor our parens, and in parshas Kedoshim we are old o ear our parens. Te medieval commenaor Chizkuni demonsraes how each o he mizvos in he Decalogue is menioned in parshas Kedoshim. According o Rabbi Schorr, he midrash is no only a resaemen o he Decalogue, bu an expansion o he mizvos i conains. Jus as he mizvoh o earing one’s parens reveals ha our obligaion o our parens enails more han giving hem honor, as was saed in he Decalogue, so oo is his rue o all he oher mizvos which i includes. Rav Saadia Gaon, as cied by Rashi o parshas Mishpoim (Shemos 23:12), wries - reflecing a saemen o he rabbis in he Midrash Rabbah o parshas Naso - ha, in ac, all o he six hundred hireen mizvos o he orah are included in he Aseres Hadibros. Rabbi Schorr, however, goes urher and wries ha his kind o expansion o scope o he mizvos is characerisic no only o hose mizvos included in he Decalogue, bu, on a broader level, i is characerisic o all he mizvos o he orah. Tis is so, he wries, because he parsha  begins wih a charge o he people o be holy, as God is holy. Ramban explains he erm ‘holy’ as a need o add precauions in our observance o he mizvos, separaing ourselves even rom iems which, according o he sric leter o he law, are seemingly permited. In shor, we need o sanciy ourselves hrough ha which is, sricly speaking, permited. I is because he parsha begins wih his mizvoh, wries Rabbi Schorr, ha i goes on o resae he Aseres Hadibros, hus showing ha jus as he Aseres Hadibros expand ino oher mizvos, so mus we expand each individual mizvoh, in erms o our observance, in order o atain holiness.Te idea propounded by Rabbi Schorr, based on he Ramban, ha we need o expand he scope o all he mizvos, may reflec a response ha he Rambam sen o a suden, who wroe o him ha he did no undersand how he could recie, on Yom HaKippurim, he sandard rom o vidui, or ‘conession,’ since i includes many sins  which he knows or a ac ha he did no ransgress. Te Rambam answered his suden ha i he would ruly undersand wha our obligaion o God is, he would undersand ha he does, indeed, need o recie he ull ex o he vidui. Tis response o he Rambam reflecs, in urn, a sory old o Rav Saadia Gaon, who once visied a own, where he sayed overnigh a an inn. Te innkeeper, no knowing he ideniy o his gues, reaed him very roughly. Te nex day, here was an announcemen ha Rav Saadia Gaon was in own and would be delivering a orah lecure, or a shiur. Te innkeeper atended he shiur, and hereby discovered he rue ideniy o he man he had reaed so discoureously. Afer he shiur, he wen over o Rav Saadia Gaon and asked orgiveness, saying ha had he known he day beore wha he knows now, he would have aced much differenly. When Rav Saadia reurned o his home, he refleced on he words o he innkeeper, and began o cry. He realized ha his knowledge o orah and his relaionship wih God expands each day, and wih ha expansion o knowledge comes an awareness ha his previous service o God was no adequae, and, hereore, he needed o repen or i. Rav Saadia, in effec, was saying ha here is never any end o he level o growh we much srive or in our observance o he mizvos and our relaionship wih God.Based on he commens o Rabbi Schorr, he Rambam and Rav Saadia Gaon, we can now undersand he commen o he midrash cied by Rashi. Parshas Kedoshim conains wihin i mos o he essenials o he orah

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